Master’s degrees in health information management can prepare you to work in the health care industry to maintain records of patient information, research data and more. Read on to learn about program curriculum, prerequisites, online availability and voluntary certification options for graduates.
What Courses Will I Take For a Master’s Degree in Health Information Management?
In a master’s program in health information management, you will learn the techniques used to manage the data used in the health care industry. This primarily includes patient records, which must be kept both secure and accessible. Your coursework will include training in a variety of record-keeping systems, with an emphasis on computer-based tools and software. Other topics you may study include legal issues in health care, medical terminology and health records coding.
|Curriculum||Data management techniques, medical terminology, legal issues in health care|
|Prerequisites||Bachelor’s degree, relevant health care coursework, GRE or GMAT results|
|Online Availability||Fully available online|
|Certification||Not required, but available through AHIMA|
|Median Salary (2018)||$99,730 (for all medical and health services managers)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||20% growth (for all medical and health services managers)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Are There Any Prerequisites?
You will need to earn a bachelor’s degree prior to entering your master’s program in health information management. While your undergraduate degree may come from any field, you will be required to have completed relevant health care coursework, including human anatomy, physiology and basic computer programming. Many programs will ask you to submit a demonstration of your interest in the field. This may be a written statement, reference letters, a curriculum vitae or a combination of all three. Some programs require the submission of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores.
Can I Earn This Degree Online?
Master’s degree programs in health information management are available for online study. These programs offer you more flexibility and the convenience of studying from home. You will take the same courses as your peers in campus-based programs in order to complete your degree. You will utilize an online educational platform, which will provide a single location for downloading lectures, accessing discussion groups and corresponding with faculty through e-mail. A computer with high-speed Internet access is required.
Do I Need Certification for My Career?
Certification is not required, but you can pursue it in order to increase your career opportunities, as well as to improve your salary potential. Your possible employers, such as hospitals, physicians’ offices and mental health facilities, often view certification as evidence of your professional competence and knowledge of industry standards. Certification as a Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) is available through the American Health Information Management Association (www.ahima.org). RHIA certification is possible upon completion of an approved educational program, such as a master’s degree program, and a certification exam.